April 23, 2018
Writer: You can't laugh off bullying
I saw a video on Facebook of a man who, after nearly 40 years, had a chance to confront his bully, now a school superintendent, who denied the accusation.
This hit me like a ton of bricks as to my experiences of being bullied that started in grade school, endorsed by a teacher, thus starting my horror throughout my school years. I was tortured on the school bus by a female. At high school a male would push me into lockers, calling me “muskrat.” This went on all four years, and still to this day I don’t know who put the dead muskrat in my locker twice on the last day of school. The principal was aware of this, and told me to laugh it off. The only person who stood up for me was expelled from school.
Being bullied alters your life forever. I internalized my humiliation and heartbreak, which has caused me many health issues. I was asked to speak at a college here in Kenosha about being bullied, along with District 3 alderman Jan Michalski, who was also bullied growing up. I wonder if his being bullied turned him into one. He was instrumental in closing down a shelter, in turn causing a domino effect, with the closing of a grocery store that his district desperately needed.
My family has a bully who has created much discord in my family, but uses God as his forum. No one knows the amount of damage that being bullied all your life creates in that person. Self worth is damaged, being on the defense all the time. It’s a very lonely place to be.
Charlene (Muscarello) Leonard